Schramsberg Vineyards

California: Napa Valley, United States

J. Schram, North Coast – 2004

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  • Introduction

    • From the inception of Schramsberg’s efforts in 1965, the winery has sought to achieve the greatest elegance and individuality possible in its sparkling wines. J. Schram epitomizes Schramsberg’s philosophy to create a wine in which no effort has been spared and no care has been omitted. Representing only 3 percent of the winery’s annual production, the Chardonnay-focused J. Schram blend is assembled from the very best base wine lots of the approximately 200 produced each year. This special bottling is dedicated to Schramsberg’s founder of 1862, Jacob Schram, and has been a great success since its premier 1987 vintage was released in 1992.

      More than 100 vineyard blocks in Carneros, Anderson Valley, and along the Sonoma and Marin coasts are carefully nurtured throughout the growing season. Cluster samples are pulled several times before the optimal pick date for each block is selected. Complexity is gained through fermentation in both oak barrels and stainless-steel tanks. Some of the small lots undergo malolactic fermentation to enrich aromas and infuse creaminess on the palate. The wine is then aged on the yeast in Schramsberg’s historic Diamond Mountain caves for six years, riddled by hand, and finished with an exceptional brut dosage.

      J. Schram is appealing on its own as an apéritif or enjoyed with fresh shellfish, caviar, smoked salmon, tangy cheeses, seafood brochettes or risotto with prosciutto.

  • Vineyard Profile

    • Principal Chardonnay Blocks

      Napa-Carneros: Hyde, Tognetti, Scwarze

      Sonoma-Carneros: Vella, Hawk Hill, Keefer

      Marin County: Stevens

    • County Composition: 47% Napa, 43% Sonoma, 6% Mendocino, 4% Marin
  • Vintage Report

    • Budbreak occurred earlier than many vintners could remember and the trend carried forward throughout the growing season. Heat spikes occurred in June and at scattered intervals throughout the summer season. Grapes completed veraison early and ripeness with well developed sugars in all varieties was realized early. Growers held on as acid balance eventually caught up. Temperatures were steady into one of the earliest harvests in Napa Valley. Grape quality was very good with a crop that was smaller than average.

    • Harvest Date(s): August 13-September 11
  • Vinification

    • Barrel Fermentation: 34%
    • Bottled: May 16-17, 2005
    • Disgorged: October 10, 2010
  • Technical Information

    • Varietal Composition: 85% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Noir
    • Production (in cases): 1,882
    • Production Case Pack: 6/750ml
    • Alcohol: 12.5%
    • TA: 0.92g/100ml
    • p H: 3.12
    • Release Date: March 1, 2011
  • Tasting Notes

    • The 2004 J. Schram has aromas of fresh green apple, apricot and lime and a bit of minerality. In addition there is a creaminess of vanilla custard, and marzipan followed by fresh baguette. Flavors of orange, melon and lemon are present with some lime pith. The fruit is accentuated by warm spices, cinnamon and nutmeg. The texture is rich and tangy with an acidity that is long and balanced. Keith Hock and Hugh Davies, Winemakers



  • J. Schram, North Coast – 2004 – 96 points, Cellar Selection – Wine Enthusiast

    Top 100 Cellar Selections - #13 “… rich and full-bodied, with elaborately ripe flavors of tangerines, raspberries, roasted almonds and coconut, brioche, honey and vanilla. Good as it is, it simply needs time for everything to transmute into magic.”

  • J. Schram, North Coast – 2004 – 93 points – Wine Spectator

    "Rich and well-structured, exhibiting bold aromas of tart apple and cinnamon rolls, with layered flavors of baked Asian pear, ginger and toasty spice that linger toward the crisp finish."